Hawaii Five-0 Review: Happy Thanksgiving

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On last week’s episode we had Nick Jonas.

And on Hawaii Five 0 Season 4 Episode 9 we have Carol Burnett. Good thing this show knows how to use a guest star, right?

The whole episode takes place on Thanksgiving and we start at a football game with pretty much everyone (minus Kono but we will see her soon) including Kamekona, Nicky Demarco and…Grover? Danny asks Steve why the man who has not made life easy for them is there.

“Well, Danny, as announced this week in the press, Chi McBride is now a series regular so you’re going to see him in every episode.” Okay, what really happens, Steve explains, is that Grover’s family is out of town and it’s Thanksgiving so…

Carol Burnett Guests

Steve has to leave the game and check on the turkey and finds sister Mary never quite defrosted the lovely bird. But, wait, Aunt Deb (Burnett) shows up unexpectedly, takes a moment to say she likes the specks of gray hair in Steve’s head (agreed) but not so much the tattoos on his arms (disagree, Aunt Deb!) and quickly says she’ll handle the turkey drama when Steve gets a call and has to go to work.

We’ll find out in the next scene that Aunt Deb helped raise them and even gave up a promising singing career to do so. In other words, Aunt Deb is a saint.

But, this being H50, there’s a murder and a body has been found but before we get too far into this we have Chin web camming with Kono. He tells her the bad guys have been taken care of so she’s safe…but she still has to find Adam, who she hears is in Seattle so that’s where she’s heading next.

The gang finds out the body in the barrel is that of a Secret Service Agent named Russo and, maybe a coincidence, the President is coming to the Island for a holiday visit. The dead Agent’s phone is gone and it has info on the President’s trip so we’ve got trouble!!

Russo was last known to be checking out residences in the North Shore so 5-0 heads there to see what they can find. The house seems empty though a sniper bullet is found on the floor. Hearing a noise, Steve and Danny almost take out a nice neighbor lady who says she was just checking out the house. We also meet the woman’s daughter, Andrea, who has just flown in for the holiday. (Think this is unimportant? You’d be wrong!)

But who interrupts the crime solving? Aunt Deb! She reluctantly tells Steve she was busted buying weed because (grab the Kleenex) she’s got an inoperable brain tumor and is dying. She says she’ll tell Mary when the time is right. Nice family moment and Burnett still has her acting chops.

Back on the job, Steve and Danny try to get the Secret Service to cancel the President’s trip since they know the real bad guy is a guy named Barkov, a sniper who kills for a living. Air Force One is landing in two hours. The clock is ticking to find our assassin.

Aunt Deb gets out of the slammer and Catherine is there and the two head off to a beautiful spot on the beach where Deb, who knows there’s something nice between Cat and her nephew, asks her to watch over Steve/Mary and make sure they stay close. Steve also asks Danny for advice on how to deal with all this and Danny gives his BFF some good advice to enjoy the last Thanksgiving and don’t dwell on the bad stuff.

Back on the case, they find the house where Barkov has been staying and also find Moreno, his cleaner who takes care of the bodies. The guy reaches for his gun, Grover shoots him and then berates him in Grover fashion as they try to figure out where Barkov is. They do figure one thing out – the President may not be the target after all. Turns out the target is…Andrea, the daughter of the neighbor we saw earlier!

The big chase scene of the episode as Barkov finds Andrea (who is a witness in a Russian murder so they need to rub her out) and her Mom and he chases them through some woods and then the beach with our 5-0 team in hot pursuit. Chin takes out Barkov and Andrea lives. Success! Who's got the Cool Whip for the Pumpkin Pie? But first...

...the President is arriving and somehow Steve, Danny, Chin and Grover have found time to clean up, put on suits and welcome the President. The only thing you really need to know is that Danny Williams does NOT button the top of his dress shirt even for the President.

But remember, it’s still Thanksgiving and they have no turkey to eat. Deb tells Steve that she did tell Mary that her days are numbered so Steve comforts his sister saying “We’re gonna get through this.” They’ll tell Mary’s baby all about Aunt Deb and keep her memory alive. These scenes could be forced and hokey but the cast pulls all of them off really well, which is perfect for a holiday episode.

So where do we end up but at Demarco’s Tiki Bar where Aunt Deb ends up on stage and…anyone a musical theater buff who knows the song she sings? I’ll help you out – it’s “I Got The Sun In The Morning” from Annie Get Your Gun. Now how often does an Irving Berlin song end up on Hawaii Fiv


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.


Who's the actress playing Mary?


Who's the actress that is playing Mary.


who is the actor at the club who is singing and introduces Carol Burnett on stage.. It almost looked like Frankie Avalon, my husband doesn't think so. I could be wrong.

Sue ann
@ Betty

That is Larry Manetti, who played Rick on Magnum P.I.


If Steve and Catherine are suppose to be a couple, why in the world Catherine mentions as if she is Steve friend and not gf? So my guess is right they are friends with benefits they are not a couple. IF she was so sure Steve is her bf she would ahve said so. They are just in for the sex I guess. For once and for all admit they are in realtionship or they are a couple otherwise for me they are just sex buddies and there is no real love to each other. Why Catherien is afraid to say Steve is her bf or why Steve is so afraid to say she is his gf? I guess cause they do not consider each other to be a love couple rather than a sex couple

@ H50fan

I thought the same thing! It's getting a little old, the back and forth of whether or not they are a serious couple. In one scene Catherine can't even call herself Steve's girlfriend, and then in the next scene, Steve's Aunt is saying she has a feeling Catherine will be around for a long time! Hmmm. I liked Catherine in the beginning, but it's things like that that have made the character annoying for me. I don't 'buy into' their relationship at all. But other than that, I thought it was a fun, sweet episode!

Mrs cleaver

Good episode, alot of sweet moments. Nice they used Carol Burnett so much and didn't give her the usual 2 minutes most guest stars get.


Carol was awesome! Like the reviewer said, it could have been hokey but instead ended up being an emotional episode.


Thanks for a great review of a great episode !! The entire season has been awesome !
LOVE, LOVE the McDanno moments and excited for Kono's return !


I think everyone is worrying about why Scott Caan scenes had been diminished wthere that means if he evetually leaves the show or what. Peter L already tweeed in a bit of upset mood that people are speculating things about Scott presence on the show and he urges people stop asking about it. It looks like Scott is filming a movie and it is one of the reasons why his scenes had to be diminished so Scott can be part of the movie he is doing in LA but Peter said that in any moment Scott is leaving the show, so he like people to atop asking about it.. Peter is giving Scott the time he needs for that as well like he gave Grace time for his maternity leave.


What a poignant and emotional episode I loved it! exactly what a true Thanksgiving celebration should be! Seeing everyone playing football together was a perfect start for a Thankgiving episode, just as the game is tied Steve has to leave to put the turkey in the oven. Danno was a bit jealous to see Grover on the football field and ask Steve why he was there Steve explains, is that Grover’s family is out of town and it’s Thanksgiving so he invited him for Thanksgiving. The whole football scene gave me a vipe of true OHANA!! Aunt Deb arrives at McGarretts home and immediately you can see that Steve has more feelings and love for his aunt Deb then he ever showed for Doris. Aunt Deb is the clue who kept the family together. The jail scene broke my heart when aunt Deb explains to Steve why she needed to buy some weed she tells Steve she has brain cancer Steve broke down and cried and realize that his aunt Deb came to Hawaii to say Goodbye to him and Mary...... I lost it and cried Both Carol and Alex where amazing kudo's to them. I was glad to see that Steve send Cath to pick up his aunt from HPD what gaves us a nice scene at a beautiful place on the beach where Aunt Deb say to Cath I have a feeling you will be around here for a while will you promise me to keep Steve and Mary close which Cath promise of course. In the mean time Steve ask Danny some brotherly advice of what he should do with his aunt Deb illness Danny gave him the best advice their is enjoy your last Thanksgiving and makes some lovely memories. This was one of the best McDanno scene I've ever seen in 4 seasons. For me this Thanksgiving episode was all about family (Ohana) if it's your family by blood our your work Ohana this is the true meaning of Thanksgiving sharing it together and be there for each other. Wish we could see aunt Deb again but we don't The crime case itself was good and I liked the twist of and ending but was secondary for me. I loved that we can see how changed Steve characters really is from a cold men in season 1 to a men who shows his feelings in season 4. I wish you all and your family's a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Good episode. It feel like we're getting closer to having Kono back but it also still seems so far away I really hope we get her back soon I miss her with the rest of the cast. Mary forgetting to put the turkey in cold water to thaw it out and trying to use a hair dryer was funny and then her and aunt Deb trying to buy another turkey and getting a tiny one was funny. Steve and Danny almost shooting Andrea and her mom was funny. The real target being Andrea and it having nothing to do with the president and it was all because she witnessed a murder by the Russians was a nice twist. I loved how Chin took out the bad guy with the sniper rifle we usually only see Steve or Kono do that but I guess since Steve was chasing the guy through the wood and Kono was on a plane to Seattle he has to be the sniper on the team. A shrimp Casserole for thanksgiving dinner. Yikes! Danny assuming Mary got arrested but it actually being Steve's aunt was funny but who can blame Danny for thinking it was Mary just look at the other episodes she's been in. Can't wait till the next episode.

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